Maureen Spencer, RN, MED, CIC
New England Baptist Hospital
In 2006, Maureen Spencer was able to influence a drastic change in how patients were treated prior to surgery at New England Baptist Hospital, an orthopedic specialty hospital in Boston. Spencer conducted several active surveillance culture studies in the operating room to demonstrate the high level of unrecognized Staphylococcus aureus (30 percent) and MRSA (5 percent) nasal carriage in patients undergoing orthopedic surgery. Armed with this information, Spencer was able to convince the administration at her facility to fund a program of active surveillance cultures during the preoperative period and the initiation of eradication treatment for those with positive cultures. As a result of these efforts, all patients at New England Baptist are now cultured and treated accordingly before surgery.